Every character on Riverdale is just dead or missing, I guess?
Soon this town will solely consist of the Southside Serpents and Hiram Lodge
by Nian Hu
In Season 3 Episode 6, we watch as every single person in Riverdale either dies or runs away. And honestly, it's really beginning to feel like those are the only two options left for residents of this cursed little town. You either get killed by the Gargoyle King/Hiram Lodge/some other murderer, or you do the sensible thing and run the fuck away while you still can.
Seriously, I'm glad Archie finally skipped town! And Betty's mom, too! The only question is, why aren't more people running away? Why the fuck is everyone so attached to Riverdale? From what I can tell, it's an absolute shit town located somewhere in upstate New York that's teeming with corruption, serial killers, and Jingle Jangle. You know you can…move, right? Like, to another town? They will also have poorly-funded public schools, mediocre football teams, and retro-themed diners, I PROMISE!
Here's to hoping that the remaining residents of Riverdale come to their senses sooner rather than later. In the meantime, let's dive right in!
Evelyn the creepy seizure girl is back on her bullshit — and this time, her victim is Josie
Oh Evelyn! It's been a while since we last saw you, and we definitely did not miss you one bit. You and your creepy wide-eyed soulless stare can go straight back to that farm cult where you belong!! In the meantime, we are forced to watch her induce more seizures in her helpless classmates. This time, her victim is Josie.
While Sheriff Minetta interrogates the students of Riverdale High about Archie's whereabouts (by the way, is this legal? Pretty sure you can't just randomly question people about their involvement in their crime unless they have, like, legal counsel present? Right to remain silent and all that? Whatever, clearly there are no laws in this town), Josie starts stuttering and acts super guilty.
Girl, get your shit together! Even Reggie's alibi was better than yours! Reggie's alibi, to be fair, was fucking hilarious: "I was busy all day, Sheriff. You can check my browser history…if you know what I mean." What a powerful line. It's the only line he speaks in the entire episode, but that's okay because it was so damn perfect. Further proof that Reggie Mantle is the ONLY consistently good character in this entire goddamn show.
Josie stutters through a half-assed alibi — "I was in the music room practicing" — before she starts to shake uncontrollably, her eyes rolling backward and her chest heaving. Evelyn, of course, is staring RIGHT at her the whole time this is happening. Betty ponders about this mysterious rash of seizures to Jughead. "First me, then Ethel, then Josie…what's the connection there?" Oh gee, let me think!
Archie and Kevin find the boys hiding out by Shadow Lake…except they're all dead
Hey, remember my super elaborate theory from the last recap? About how the boys involved in Cassidy's murder are hiding out in the mines by Shadow Lake, and how they're playing G&G with Joaquin? Well it turns out that I was right! Ahh vindication has never tasted so sweet.
Archie goes to look for the Shadow Lake boys because they're the only ones who can prove his innocence. Great idea, Archie! Except for one thing. You're a wanted murderer. And you also have a pretty nasty infection from that time Joaquin stabbed you. Turns out 16-year-old kids aren't a great replacement for doctors after all! Did nobody think to put Neosporin on that giant gaping wound on his abdomen?
Archie enlists the help of someone who is even more docile and obedient than he is — the one and only Kevin Keller. Just look at his innocent, earnest face. You know you can talk Kevin into doing literally anything! Together, they plumb the depths of the mines by Shadow Lake. The damp walls are covered in runes and drawings of the Gargoyle King. Looks like a pretty grim place to live the rest of your life, tbh. Fortunately, the Shadow Lake boys don't need to worry about that any longer. Because they're all dead.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out what happened here. Even the idiot himself, Archie Andrews, figures it out. "Sheriff Minetta shot these guys because of me," he exclaims. Good job, Archie! He's racked with guilt over causing the deaths of these boys…seemingly forgetting that these were the same cowards who willingly sent him to jail for a crime he didn't commit. Yeah, they probably didn't deserve to be violently executed, but let's not shed too many tears.
Jughead tries to question Joaquin…but then he also ends up dead
See what I mean? Everyone's out here dying these days! Literally anyone who comes in contact with Archie or Jughead meets an immediate and brutal death. Unlike softboy Archie, however, Jughead doesn't give a shit about being indirectly responsible for the murders of other people. And honestly, that's probably why Jughead is still alive and kicking while Archie is a man on the run. Both of them were on Hiram's hit list, remember? And yet…Hiram hasn't even TOUCHED Jughead ever since that one failed murder attempt. Why? Because he knows Jughead ain't a pussy. That's my theory, at least.
Anyway, back to the actual episode! Jughead decides to send the Southside Serpents after Joaquin. He declares to Betty, "I will rally the Serpents!" Fortunately, this task is relatively simple since there are only two remaining members of the Southside Serpents. I assume Jughead just sent them a group text or something. Fangs and Sweet Pea go after Joaquin and track him down successfully, whereupon Jughead interrogates him aggressively about the Gargoyle King.
Joaquin admits that he'd been playing G&G with Warden Norton, but that the warden was a pawn. Someone else had been sending him cards telling him to kill Archie. Joaquin also reveals that the mysterious symbol — the one branded on Archie's hip, and the one that we've been seeing everywhere — means "sacrifice." Anyone who has that symbol is marked for death. Pretty awkward, because a couple minutes later Joaquin himself ends up dead with the symbol carved into his forehead. Irony is so cruel!
Jughead then rushes to Hiram's office. "An ancient evil long forgotten has awoken, the embodiment of pure malice and cruelty," he grandly declares. Hiram looks at him with awe and says, "So it's finally happened. You've lost your mind." I take back what I said earlier — Reggie isn't the only consistently good character on this show. Hiram is! Never stop being your sassy self, Hiram.
Archie peaces out of Riverdale…FOREVER! RIP #Varchie
Aww so this was actually really sad. Surprisingly so, because I've been rooting for their breakup from the very beginning. Ever since its inception way back in Season 1, Varchie was the singularly most annoying thing about the show. Did anyone actually enjoy watching Veronica and Archie constantly grinding their sweaty bodies against each other?? Jeez, keep it in your pants! Also the fact that they're such a ridiculously mismatched couple, Veronica being the smart-but-mean one and Archie being the stuipd-bit-nice one. Like come on, they both deserved better. V deserves a guy who's not stupid enough to found a neo-Nazi group, and A deserves a girl who's actually nice and doesn't talk like a Shakespearean bot on acid.
But it was still pretty sad watching Archie break up with her over the phone, especially since she's so blindsided. Veronica truly thought that she won this round with her father. She broke into her mom's mayoral office, found the video of Sheriff Minetta coercing the Shadow Lake boys, and managed to get Archie's name cleared and Sheriff Minetta locked away in prison. She even put together a little "Welcome Back Archie" party in her speakeasy, complete with cake and streamers. She really thought that she would have her Archiekins back in her arms.
So it was utterly heartbreaking watching as she slowly realized that Archie was never coming back. At first, she was delighted to inform Archie that everything worked out — just in time for Homecoming, like she'd always wanted! But then Archie breaks the news to her that he isn't coming back to Riverdale…ever. He's crying, she's crying, and it's just so fucking sad. "Don't you make me say good bye to you, Archie Andrews!" she sobs as the phone slides from her hand. Archie hangs up the pay phone. "Good bye, Veronica," he says. Oh my HEART!!
Then shit gets even sadder when Archie turns to his companion, the one person who he trusted to see him off — none other than Jughead Jones. These two have been through a lot and they have divided loyalties — Archie to his Bulldogs, Jughead to his Serpents — but at the end of the day, they're still best friends. Together, they walk down the empty railroad tracks. Good bye, Archie! We'll miss your rock-hard abs and strong jawline!
Investigator Betty is back on the prowl, but her mom has finally had enough of her shit
Fucking hell, Betty. Didn't we already establish that you're the worst investigator in the history of investigators?? But this girl just won't quit. Can't stop, won't stop! I'm Nancy Drew, dammit! So first she gets the idea to mail out invitations to every single adult member of the Midnight Club — except she signed off as the Gargoyle King. That's fucking TERRIFYING, Betty! Why would you DO that? You probably gave all of these adults a goddamn heart attack! Somehow, this idiotic plan works and she manages to convene all of the members of the Midnight Club in Veronica's speakeasy. There, she confronts them and demands the truth. You know, because that always works out so well!
Penelope tells Betty that it was Daryl Doiley who poisoned the chalice that killed Principal Featherhead. She claimed that he did it because he was in love with her and wanted them to "ascend" together, but she rejected him. And then years later, after they had their own families, he came to her again and she rejected him again. Then he (allegedly) committed suicide by poisoning himself with carbon monoxide in his car.
Except…what if it wasn't suicide? What if it was (gasp) MURDER?? Betty sure thinks so! She rummages around some more, and finds out that Daryl Doiley didn't actually die from carbon monoxide poisoning — he died from ingesting a poisonous plant. Which points all fingers at…Penelope Blossom, the grower of all sorts of toxic herbs in her creepy greenhouse! Dun-dun-dun-DUN! Except wait. Maybe it wasn't Penelope? I don't know, this is all getting very confusing and I'm not really sure why we care what happened to this dude.
Apparently her mom is also sick of Betty's shit. She tells her that she's leaving Riverdale and going to the farm instead. Betty seems totally fine with it and she's clearly looking forward to having the house to herself so she can have sex with Jughead. Except that's not exactly what Alice Cooper had in mind. "Edgar said that you'd resist and that we should send you elsewhere," Alice tells a shocked Betty, as two silent men clad in white seize her by the arms. "There's no safer place. The Sisters will watch over you now."
Ah yes, the Sisters of Quiet Mercy! The creepy nuns who run a gay conversion therapy center. I mean, can you IMAGINE anywhere safer? Even better, it's revealed at the end that all of the residents at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy are stuck drawing portraits of the Gargoyle King. You think your mom might suck, but at least she didn't send you to a Satanic cult/gay conversion therapy/orphanage center!
The Gargoyle King continues to be the dorkiest "villain" in the entire world
Seriously, fuck the Gargoyle King. I mean it! This little bitch is starting to get on my last nerve. We are six episodes deep and this pathetic loser of a cult leader/supervillain/face of pure evil has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. What is this impotent pile of fall foliage doing here?? Like, it just shows up in Betty's house and stands there in the living room. All the lights turn off suddenly. Random flashes of pink light emerge out of nowhere. Betty's bedroom is converted into a weird goth shrine to Daryl Doiley for no apparent reason.
And…that's about it, folks! After that, the Gargoyle King apparently just disappears. That's right! It shows up in Betty's goddamn house and it doesn't even have the balls to murder her. What the fuck is the point? Like, why am I even supposed to be scared of this thing if it doesn't DO anything?!
I'm over it, y'all.